Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Use the Breg Polar Care Kodiak Cold Therapy Unit

For patients recovering from surgery, sports injury or dealing with chronic pain in their ankles, knees, backs, shoulders, or wrists, finding the right treatment is integral to relieving pain and getting back to regular daily activities. With so many items out there on the market it can be difficult to select the right product for your specific needs.

The Breg Polar Care Kodiak cold therapy unit is a portable motorized cold therapy system that provides penetrating and long-lasting pain relief. The Breg Kodiak is durable and compact, making it easy to use at home, at work, or anywhere else that you have access to a power outlet.

To use the Kodiak follow these simple steps:
1. Take the top off of the unit, revealing the water and ice chamber inside
2. Locate the "ice fill" and "water fill" lines and fill chamber with ice and then water appropriately- be sure not to overfill the unit or it can overflow when you place the lid back on
3. Place the top back on the unit and pull the handle up to secure the lid in place
4. Attach the Breg pad you will be using to the hose coming from the unit by pushing in both silver tabs and interlocking the quick-lock couplings
5. Wrap the pad around the body part you will be icing using the Velcro straps
6. Place the unit as close to the injury as possible icing so that the motor doesn’t have to work as hard
7. Plug the AC adaptor into the unit and then into the outlet
8. Turn the system on

The motor is very quiet so when it’s running you may not hear it, but when you feel the pad compress slightly you will know that the system is working properly. If you experience any condensation on the hose you can wrap the hose with a towel. If you need to ambulate you can unplug the AC adaptor from the wall and then separate the pad coupling from the hose coupling. Water will not leak out when the two are separated.

The Breg pads are actually “inteliflow” pads, which means that a restrictor valve at the end of each pad controls the speed of water circulating from the cold therapy unit through the pad to provide the safest water temperature for the body part that you are icing. For extremities (hand, wrist, and ankle) the water is circulated at a slower speed, allowing the body to warm the water some and prevent the area from getting too cold. For areas of the body closer to the core (hip, shoulder, back, and knee) the water is circulated at a faster speed, leaving the water cooler. What this means for you is that it takes the guess work out of using the unit and ensures your safety.

When evaluating pain relief products the two most important things you should look at are effectiveness and value. The Breg Kodiak cold therapy unit is probably the most effective cold therapy unit on the market right now- providing hours of deep penetrating pain relief for both post op patients and individuals with acute pain. Unlike ice packs, cold therapy units provide long-lasting pain relief and eliminate the hassle of waiting for them to freeze and changing them out several times an hour. With the Kodiak you also have the added benefit of an "ice strainer" embedded in the water/ice chamber. This simple, but highly effective, feature allows ice to remain inside when dumping out water in order to save as much ice as possible when refilling. The superior pain relief that the Kodiak provides can improve sleep, restore range of motion sooner, and reduce the need for pain reliever medication.

In terms of value, the Breg Kodiak is a great value because it is so durable that it will last for many years of usage. One of the features that helps extend the life of the Kodiak is the unique filtration system that can be easily washed out of it ever gets clogged. Many other continuous cold therapy units out there can’t be cleaned out properly to ensure that they will continue to work properly over the years. Additionally, the Breg Kodiak has the strongest and quietest motor of any portable motorized cold therapy unit available. This high quality motor is another reason that the system is so dependable and is preferred by so many patients and doctors.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is one of North America's premiere medical brace distributors. Based in Houston Texas, MMAR specializes in orthopedic braces, splints and supports, as well as diabetic footwear and cold therapy units.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Limit Injuries from Flat Feet with Shoe Inserts and Ankle Braces

Flat feet, a common condition that allows your entire foot to touch the floor when you stand, is usually painless, but complications may occur if you increase the amount of time spent walking or exercising. The condition, which normally occurs when your arches don’t develop during childhood, can cause your ankles to turn inward. As your ankles turn inward it throws off the alignment of your legs, resulting in ankle and knee problems.

Additional symptoms of this condition that affects over a quarter of Americans include:

  • Swelling along the inside of the ankle
  • Foot pain
  • Severe heel pain
  • Bunions
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Postural strain
  • Difficulty standing on your tip toes

Having flat feet usually puts more stain on the delicate ligaments and tendons that support the foot and ankle. This may cause the fragile bones to collapse, resulting in heels spurs, ankle sprains and hip and lower back pain. Providing the proper support is the key to preventing injuries and pain from flat feet.

The symptoms of flat feet can often be treated with shoe inserts designed to support the arch. Shoe inserts help raise the arch and realign the foot in order to reduce pain and distribute weight evenly. Distributing weight evenly can help minimize the strain placed on your knees and spine. The heel cushion included in the shoe insert helps reduce the shock your foot feels when walking moderate distances on flat feet.

If you are planning on walking, running or exercising for an extended period of time you should consider wearing a brace or ankle support. A lace-up ankle brace is the perfect choice for people with flat feet because you can control the tightness of the brace and easily remove it when it is not needed. Consider purchasing a top of the line brace, such as the Ankle Lok® brace, which has a short curved heat sealed arch that fits the contour of the foot. The arch of the Ankle Lok® brace is seamless so it does not irritate the bottom of the foot.

Developing flat feet later in life from a traumatic injury to your foot or ankle is also common. In this case an ankle brace isn't just recommended when exercising, it is necessary. Hinged ankle braces may be the best choice for those that have experienced a distressing injury to their foot or ankle because they offer more stability than soft ankle supports. The hinged ankle braces are very comfortable and fit easily into most shoes. Many hinged braces, such as the Ossur Rebound Ankle Brace, come with an optional stability strap that provides extra support while requiring less plantar flexion.

When making the decision to treat your flat feet with shoe inserts, ankle braces or nothing at all, it is always better to err on the safe side. Looking at the cost of surgery and rehabilitation it becomes evident that injuries are cheaper to prevent than treat. Purchasing the proper brace is an affordable way to protect your delicate feet and ankles.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality ankle brace, knee brace, or lumbar brace please visit